Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Curse of Bye Bye Birdie.

I feel a little trepidation, even as I type out the name of the cursed movie. I thought about the movie, the other day, as the rain fell, softly at times, other times seeming as if it would come through the windows… the sound of the rain took me back… to another weekend in August, how many years ago now?

The day started out, dreary and humid, much like every other day that summer. I was vacuuming the carpet, and right then decided it had to come out. So there I was, tearing up this old brown shag carpet that had seen better decades. Hauling it out to the side of the road, big pickup was scheduled for the next week. Exhausted that evening, settling in to watch a good musical on tv with my lovely daughters on the couch beside me.

The humidity finally broke, with the storm that was threatening all day long. The sky was dark, the lightning flashes breaking the sky in two. Thunder crashing, shaking the house. There were candles on the coffee table, just in case, and flashlights for all. The movie, Bye Bye Birdie on the television. Halfway through the movie, we’re laughing at the lame songs and the ridiculous premise of the movie, when one of the offspring says “what’s that dark spot on the floor?” Yeah…what is that growing dark spot on the floor.

Water. In my basement. Coming in from god knows where. Phone calls to my brother with the shopvac, sucking it up, pouring it down the sink, when I note that, not only is the water coming through the walls somehow, but its gurgling up through the hole in the laundry room floor, up from the sewer, I’m guessing. Now, I’ve got a late night call to the plumber going on. “Yes, coming up through the drain” I tell him. “It’s coming up from the sewer then” he says. “well what can I do?” I ask him. “Nothing” he says. “Nothing??” “Nothing.” I realize that, as I suck up the water and pour it down the laundry room sink, that if it is indeed coming up from the sewer, then I’m just making it worse. The kindly plumber tells me just to go to bed and get some sleep, there’s nothing I can do anyway. Nothing he can do.

A call to the insurance company the next day brings “disaster restoration” people. Well, it’s not quite a disaster. Maybe they should be called “devastation restoration” people. My basement gets fixed. New carpet, new drywall, after a few weeks time.

Fast forward a year or so. Again, just the girls and I at home, and we’re having a chick movie night. Gosh, we love those musicals. What’s on the tv schedule tonight? Why, its Bye Bye Birdie, oh good, we never did get to watch the end of that movie, as lame as it was, I always like to see things through to the end. It’s October, this time, a weekend, and the weather’s been unsettled. Snuggled on the couch with the offspring, laughing again at the goofy songs and costumes.

And then. Its déjà vu all over again. The storm starts, rain comes hard and fast… “what’s that dark spot on the floor, mom?” Again. Again the panicked call to my brother with the shop vac. Minus the call to the plumber, because this time I know it won’t help. Again, the call to the insurance company, when they tell me that this is the last time they’ll cover me for this, because, gosh knows, you’re not expected to make any claims when you have house insurance. Apparently, if we have another claim, they’ll drop us. Nice. But they fixed the basement, this one last time.

So… the connection I’ve made, through all of this, is that the classic movie Bye Bye Birdie is cursed. I cannot watch this movie ever again, because my house will flood. I don’t mean to be facetious or anything, but I wonder if someone was watching it in New Orleans when Katrina hit. It’s a dangerous movie. Should be banned.

A year after that last flood, I won tickets on the radio, to see a play being put on near here. What was the play? You guessed it. I didn’t pick up the tickets. Couldn’t risk it.